After several days of talks with state officials, Mr. Bloomberg agreed to create the position of chief academic officer to oversee curriculum and testing at the city’s Department of Education. Under the deal, that job would go to Shael Polakow-Suransky, a former principal of a Bronx high school who is a top official at the city’s Department of Education.
But exactly how much authority Mr. Polakow-Suransky, 38, will wield is unclear. A job description prepared by the city said he would have “the broadest scope for the exercise of independent initiative and judgment” and listed 25 duties, including many that would normally fall to the head of a school system. But Mr. Polakow-Suransky will still report to Ms. Black, who is accustomed to setting the agenda in the rough-and-tumble world of corporate culture.
Ms. Black and Mr. Polakow-Suransky have met several times over the past week to discuss how they will divide authority.
Polakow-Suransky will have the “the broadest scope for the exercise of independent initiative and judgment."
Gee, that makes it so clear.
Call me cynical, but I read this simply as: Steiner saves face by claiming an educator is sharing power with Black, but behind the scenes everybody involved knows Black will call all the shots.